I don’t know how I ended up in a Tijuana gutter half filled with raw sewage, but I was missing my shoes, my pants, and (of course) my wallet. It was six in the morning, the sun rising and roosters crowing in bedraggled yards of bullet-pocked houses. As I touched my forehead and pulled my hand back yelping in pain from the raw open wound–maybe it was from a crowbar, maybe something else–I saw him. La Policia, stepping out of a cruiser, and he did not look amused. Just then, you showed up, pulled me from the gutter, and shoved us both into a taxi. “La frontera,” you said, just as the cops started a gun battle with someone in a black SUV.

Cake, you quite possibly saved my life, and I didn’t even know you.